The Kwantlen Student Association appointed Kwantlen Polytechnic University alumna Gagandeep Kaur as their interim executive director at a council meeting on June 9.
Kaur’s appointment follows the resignation of the previous executive director Parveen Sehra, who held the position from Dec. 9, 2022 until the first week of June.
The KSA’s executive director is responsible for managing employees and aspects of human resources including hiring, discharging, training, and supervising of employees in discussion with the executive committee, according to the KSA’s Regulations.
Kaur graduated from KPU in 2018 after completing a post baccalaureate diploma in accounting. She then went onto work for Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) firms and big construction groups in finance and management positions.
She heard about the executive director position when the KSA’s executive committee reached out to the accounting firm she was previously working at to inform employees that they were hiring.
“I was reached out [to] by the executives for the opportunity and I just wanted to grab [it], I didn’t want to lose it,” Kaur says.
“I wanted to take on a new challenge. This position comes with higher level of leadership roles [and I] wanted to use my skills and experience.”
In the month and a half Kaur has been working as interim executive director, she’s been learning the ins and outs of the position and how to perform the duties of her role.
“[I’m enjoying] the decision making. I have to make major decisions. [I’ve been] reading and looking at everything in detail, understanding how everything [works] and what changes maybe we need in the future,” she says.
“I’m liking everything and doing everything for the students, for their wellness and benefit.”
As executive director, Kaur says she understands the responsibilities that come with the position.
“This job affects students, everyone. There are 18,000 plus KPU students right now,” she says. “Whatever I decide will affect everyone, whether its students or the council. So I have to be very careful with the decisions I make.”
Given how much impact the KSA can have on KPU students, Kaur’s main goal as executive director is to ensure the association is transparent.
“I want to bring more transparency and financial stability [to] the association. I want to achieve this by re-examining current KSA regulations, policies, and programs,” she says.
“I want to make things clear to [students] and I need to bring something beneficial for the students. I want to provide a welcoming and supportive environment to the Indigenous students as well.”
As a KPU alumna, Kaur sees her appointment as executive director at the KSA as a full circle moment.
[My time at KPU] was a great experience,” she says. “I never thought I would be working with [the KSA]. I’m so happy that I was offered this opportunity.”
Kaur is currently signed on for a one year contract.
“I would like [it] to be forever, but it’s up to the council members. Whatever they decide, I’m happy with the decision,” she says.
For more information about the KSA, visit www.kusa.ca